About 10 miles from Northampton is a small village called Wollaston, home of probably the most well known shoe brands in the world, Dr Martens.
Dr Martens global appeal is a relatively recent phenomenon compared to many of the established shoe brands in around Northampton that can trace their heritage way back to the 19th century.
Dr Martens and the British youth
The history of Dr Martens really kicks off in 1966 when the combination of distinctive styling and military grade strength appealed to an up and coming youth movement, famously initiated by Pete Townshend of The Who.
The classic Dr Martens boot has since remained synonymous with British working class youth movements (check out This Is England for a snapshot of DM styling in context) and the brand has continued to expand its appeal with a seemingly never ending reinvention of their classic format.
The Dr Martens shoe factory shop
Whilst Dr Martens could never be classed as a luxury brand, it's still great to get a great discount on some quality shoes and boots. This is where a visit to the Doc Shop in Wollaston comes in. Probably the worst kept secret in Northamptonshire, this shoe factory outlet is the place to pick up serious bargains starting anywhere from £15.
The range available is incredibly diverse (overwhelmingly so sometimes) and always changing and so it's very much a case of turning up and being open minded. We already have at least a dozen pairs in our house ranging from classic cherry red 8-hole boots through to yellow Dr Marten brogues and there's always something new to add to the DM collection.
Dr Martens discounts for everyone
From some sturdy looking tan and red brogue boots to lighter weight fabric boots, this visit to Dr Martens proved to be particularly fruitful from a men's perspective. There was also plenty to choose from the ladies and kid’s ranges (the Beano themed Dr Martens being a particular favourite).
And this is the strength and broad appeal of Dr Martens; it still manages to stay on the edge of mainstream as a youth brand that retains the capacity to shock by remaining resolutely anti-establishment yet somehow evergreen in its popularity. Not bad for design that started life as an orthopaedic shoes.